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Deep Keels Mean Deep Trouble

Nov 24, 2014
75
Catalina 310 Staten Island
Just posting this picture as a warning to those contemplating buying larger deep fin keel boats. The vessel pictured broke loose from its mooring after a storm and ran aground outside Staten Island's Great Kills Harbor. The keel snapped off after the tow boat attempted to move it. The bottom line is that these deep keels put tremendous strain on the hull while at the same time, their narrower point of attachment makes them less strong. Unless you are racing, there is a lot to be said for a shallow keel.
IMGP3711 (2).JPG
 
Sep 25, 2016
88
Oday 22 Lake Arthur
not sure what's worse- the boat or the guy wading in Great Kills Harbor without a hazmat suit
 
Nov 24, 2014
75
Catalina 310 Staten Island
Maybe the thread should be titled "Beware neanderthals operating tow boats who think more power is the answer to everything ".
Well I do agree with you about the power, but as a college anthropology major, I feel that you are not giving Neanderthals enough credit. While they are believed to be an evolutionary side branch of the human family tree, they had a lot going for them. Armed with only spears, stones, and clubs, they hunted the huge Cave Bear and survived conditions that made Alaska look like Antigua. While they looked brutish, they behaved in many ways like us. They buried their dead with some form of ceremony. One aged specimen was too arthritic to even keep up with his fellow hunters, much less attack anything. He also was missing several teeth, making chewing difficult. Nonetheless he was cared for back at camp. Someone may even have chewed his food for him. People who care for their crippled and aged are not brutes. As for the tow boat operator, Google Australopithecus, and perhaps you will get an idea of what he looked like
 
Jul 12, 2011
805
Catalina 36 Bay City, MI
I'm just trying to figure out what make of boat this is. The keel stub does seem really small for (I'm guessing) a 30-foot boat. Any reference from the news article, muttondressedaslamb ?

On the "deep keel" part - I don't race, but I do like going to windward, hence the 6-foot draft. I've gone over mine in some detail, and really doubt that it would snap off in a tow situation before a cleat pulled off the deck. Just saying.
 
Aug 12, 2014
2,207
Hunter 31 (1983) Pompano Beach FL
While at the USNA in Annapolis, I sailed one season on Semper Fi. (previously named Recluta). She was a 48' Mahogany Frehrs with a deep keel. We had a lot of fun getting her back into shape after she was donated to the sailing program. She was a great boat, and raced very well. The summer after I left, she competed in Block Island Race week. During a race she hit a sandbar that was not on the charts at speed, lost her keel and turtled. I don't know if she was ever returned to sailing condition. Deep keels are great for racing, but you have to be very aware of your sailing environment.
SemperFi 3.jpg SemperFI 1.jpg SemperFi 2.jpg
 
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Sep 11, 2015
1,312
Macgregor 25 Oregon lakes
While at the USNA in Annapolis, I sailed one season on Semper Fi. (previously named Recluta). She was a 48' Mahogany Frehrs with a deep keel.
Wow! that was one beautiful boat!
 
Oct 9, 2008
1,697
Bristol 29.9 Dana Point
I think the headline should begin with "If you sail in shallow waters".
Which on the West Coast don't exist. Unless you try to use your boat as a surfboard.

I have to agree with others in that having a deep keel hardly "means" (equals) deep trouble. Best advice is to stay away from the bottom.
I'd guess frozen hoses and fires have destroyed more sailboats than deep keels.
 
Nov 24, 2014
75
Catalina 310 Staten Island
More sailors get hit by lightening playing golf each year than keels fall off boats. This is unnecessarily alarmist and not substantiated by fact.
Maybe so, and BTW, more high school football players are killed in bus accidents going to and from the game than on the playing field. Nonetheless, if my son were still a teenager, I would do my best to talk him out of joining the team
 
Nov 24, 2014
75
Catalina 310 Staten Island
not sure what's worse- the boat or the guy wading in Great Kills Harbor without a hazmat suit
Ten years ago, you are probably right. Over the past several years, it has gotten much cleaner, though probably doesn't stack up to where you sail. I would rather wade in Lake Arthur, but would rather sail near where I live. The area between Staten Island, South Brooklyn, and North Central NJ, has some of the consistently best sailing conditions on the East Coast. You just have to watch out for shallow areas between South and Midland Beach on Staten Island, and Keeport in NJ
 
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Nov 26, 2012
1,126
Hunter 34 Berkeley
Yes. Deep keels are very dangerous and usually result in catastrophe. This happens ALL the time.
 
Apr 2, 2013
308
Catalina 310 Niagara-on-the-Lake
I don't know any golfer that has been hit by lightning, and I know quite a few golfers, but last year a 43' sailboat from our club hit a rock that nobody else has hit in recent memory. But then, there are very few boats with 9' keels in our club....
 
Aug 12, 2014
2,207
Hunter 31 (1983) Pompano Beach FL
Yes. Deep keels are very dangerous and usually result in catastrophe. This happens ALL the time.
I hope you are being sarcastic. Deep keel boats aren't inherently dangerous, they just take more care in navigation and mooring than a shoal keel boat. Rocks reefs and sand bars become more of a threat that needs to be carefully avoided.
 
Nov 26, 2012
1,126
Hunter 34 Berkeley
I hope you are being sarcastic. Deep keel boats aren't inherently dangerous, they just take more care in navigation and mooring than a shoal keel boat. Rocks reefs and sand bars become more of a threat that needs to be carefully avoided.
Hmmmmm. Yes. Good insight.
 
Nov 8, 2010
10,693
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
I don't know any golfer that has been hit by lightning, and I know quite a few golfers, but last year a 43' sailboat from our club hit a rock that nobody else has hit in recent memory. But then, there are very few boats with 9' keels in our club....
;^)

I kind made that up, but after looking - according to NOAA, over the last 20 years, the United States averaged 500 annual lightning strikes to people per year (50 die). If you guess that only 5% are playing golf, that means that 10 keels have to fall of boats each year. Pretty sure that does not happen.
 
Apr 2, 2013
308
Catalina 310 Niagara-on-the-Lake
Since we're quoting statistics.... one in 175 boats in our club lost their keel last year! Also, 92% of statistics are made up by the statistician. :)
Cheers
 
Mar 1, 2012
1,876
1961 Rhodes Meridian 25 Texas coast
This port in my previous boat came from a Catalina 30 who's keel fell OFF offshore Matagorda Peninsula. The boat washed ashore and since there was no economical way to refloat, she was stripped of hardware and burned
new-port.jpg